It was only a matter of minutes ago that I thought I overheard someone telling a complete stranger that I am "boring." Obviously, I don't think I was meant to hear that, but I wasn't eavesdropping on purpose or anything. Because of who said it, my stomach dropped, and I started to feel sick over it.
But I thought I should instead reflect further on the matter.
I have long been of the mindset that what people find boring is very subjective.
Take my students, for instance. Some of them like English. Some of them don't. Some of them think my class is fun, and it's their favorite. Some of them hate it, and they think it's their most boring class. This is partly a matter of interest, partly a matter of attitude, and partly a matter of ability.
I like to work out. I think it's fun. I go to the gym, do some cardio and lifting, or I try out the classes at the gym.
I like to watch movies. I think they're fun. It is probably my most favorite pastime.
I like to read. I like to bake and cook. I like to browse dollar stores and department stores. I like to coupon. I like to go on walks. I like to write. I like to go to concerts. I like to sit around and have good conversations with good people. I like to bowl. I like to go to the beach. I like to go on drives. I like to go fishing. I like to go to baseball games.
This is all my idea of fun. I can lead a happy life doing these things.
Do any of these things make me "boring"?
Am I boring because I would rather stay in and watch a movie than go dancing? Am I boring because I don't go to big church activities to socialize? Am I boring because I don't like large crowds? Maybe I'm boring because I don't go camping, or rappelling, or rock climbing, or hiking, or skiing, or snowboarding? What if I played video games? What if I watched a lot of TV?
Are any of these activities inherently more exciting than the other?
I think it just depends on the person.
On one hand, there are a lot of things that I don't do or try because I couldn't afford to do it if I wanted to (skydiving, parasailing, Polynesian or other dance lessons, guitar lessons, road biking, skiing, traveling, surfing, etc.). On the other hand, there are things I would be happy to do if I had the right crowd.
My old group of friends used to do something exciting every week. We'd go to dinner and end up roller skating or going 80s dancing or running around the park at night. I'd love to do these things, with the right people who make me comfortable--with people who I feel safe acting silly with, with people who are non-threatening. But just on my own, not so much.
There are situations in which I thrive, and others in which I struggle. I am willing to struggle with the right people. We all need to feel comfortable to some extent, I guess.
Maybe I'm not that "fun and exciting." But what makes something fun and exciting? Who says what goes and what doesn't?
For me, I do. And I'm going to keep rocking my boring hobbies till someone comes around and makes me comfortable enough to do something different.